Trading Success is Not a Given
Last updated on April 3rd, 2020
We live in a world where failure to achieve something is believed to be due to the actions of another.
A new movement rises virtually every day that takes the burden off your shoulders and says the problem lies outside of your control.
My personal view is that equal is unfair because the word “equal” is used with broad strokes.
While opportunity and the ability to seek opportunity should be fair, the outcomes should not and can not be equal as everyone will approach opportunity in a different way giving different results.
Life owes us nothing but the chance to be the best we can be while we enjoy our short time here on earth.
Trading success is no different.
Trading Is A Meritocracy
Trading, at the core, is a meritocracy. You earn your success.
On the average day, markets will provide you the opportunity to make money and it is up to you what you do with those opportunities. Failing to capitalize or worse, giving back all that you earned starts many on the path of making excuses.
Some seem to find a few things to blame for their failure:
- They blame the broker for running stops (because they have zero idea how the markets actually work).
- They blame the system (the shiny new object always catches a “traders” eye)
- They blame bad advice from a forum or they blame the news.
We hear that psychology and managing risk plays a very important part in the life of a trader and their trading success.
Ultimately, that means that the trader themselves is the key to either getting eaten up and spit out by the markets or beating the odds and making some solid money.
It is a pretty large responsibility trader’s face.
There is nobody that they can point the finger at.
- Either you follow your tested trade plan or you don’t.
- Either you follow responsible risk protocols or you don’t.
Netpicks designs trading systems and before releasing them to the public, they are not only back tested, but also forward tested in the live markets. They are not 100% mechanical and there are rules to help navigate around the rocks the occur from time to time.
There are those that become trader success stories with them and there are those that fail with them.
One of the common denominators is that those traders that find success, take the trade plans and make them their own. They stay close to the main structure of the system because they understand there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the have a good one in front of them.
Those that fail usually tweak the systems enough that it no longer resembles the initial system.
- They ignore the trade plans and fail to understand that any system will serve up a losing streaks.
- They ignore responsible risk parameters and eventually grind their accounts to a worthless sum
Some even go as far as doubting the claims made of the strategy for the one single reason……that they failed.
You see it a lot in every day life.
People who can’t do always assume that someone else can’t do as well. They want to bring others down to their level.
People have an entitled mentality which makes them think that because they want trading success that they should have trading success.
I don’t need to tell you that life never has and never will work that way.
Where can you find trading success?
The very first thing you are going to have to do is actually take responsibility for your success (and your failures).
Taking responsibility takes you out of the victim column and allows you to attempt to set things right.
One of the first places you should start is how you think.
Let me ask you…..have you ever started the day off on the wrong foot and as the day progressed, bad things “just” kept occurring?
How about having to attend a function even though you hated the idea of going? You arrive and while everyone else is having a great time, you just can’t rise up.
Your state of being has a huge impact on what comes your way and as a trader you had better keep in tune with your “state”.
You are only going to perform as well as you are feeling especially when your trading has a discretionary side to it. One thing novice traders have a hard time with is calming the emotions of fear and greed.
Those two emotions will lead you down an irresponsible path as a trader which will lead you further from the goal of success – whatever you define as “success”.
Succumbing to these emotions can lead to a disaster when the loses pile up. They take a loser and then they end up becoming a trading loser.
It’s reality if you do not develop the ability to separate “you” from the market.
Ignore Your Trade Plan & Perish
Taking revenge type trades and tossing your trade plan out the window is what is truly harsh. Losing your trading account due to stupidity and an unprofessional attitude is harsh.
If you flame out in trading and do some soul searching, realizing it was your own personal failings can be devastating.
It has been proven that what you say to yourself has an impact on how you perform in life. It impacts on how you feel.
One of the best things I have ever heard was:
it does not matter what happens to you…but on how you respond to what happens.
You can either take the high road or dig yourself into a hole. I want to share an exercise with you that I was given a long time ago and has had a strong impact on me. You can choose to do it or simply go about your usual habits.
Your Trading Mantra
I’d like you to write down 15 things you love about yourself starting as many as you can with “I am”. As an example: “I love that I am forgiving”.
After that, write down 15 things that you are grateful for.
Make this a daily mantra for yourself and the goal is to bring focus and clarity to all the good things about you and what you have in your life. During your trading hours, have a copy taped above your monitor.
Every time your thoughts turn negative or your self-talk says how “stupid” you are, repeat out loud what you have written.
You can take this a step further and have another one listing all the positive attributes of a successful trader.
As an example, you can write:
- I am a successful trader because I stick to my trade plan
- I am a successful trader because I control the emotions that can affect my success
- I am a trading success because I think and act like a professional
The words “I am” are very powerful and you can either choose to use them in the negative or the positive. To criticize yourself using “I am” can actually devastating effects over time.
Be A Prepared Trader
Remember, trading is a meritocracy. It rewards the prepared. I strongly urge you to try the exercises I have written about. Remember, in trading and life in general, you earn your success.
Keep the foundation which is you, solid. What do you have to lose?